Sunday, November 1, 2015
Another Dark Ecological Pomegranate Seed
As a performance of not seeming an idiot in theory class, one is obliged to convey something like, “Well of course, I’m not an essentialist” (make disgusted face here). Compare the ridicule that greets the idea of creating social spaces that are not agrilogistic (so not traditionally capitalist, communist, or feudal). Such reactions are themselves agrilogistic. Both assume that to have a politics is to have a one-size-fits-all Easy Think concept. If you don’t, you are called a primitivist or an anarchist, both derogatory terms, and deemed unserious. Or you want to regress to some utopian state that “we couldn’t possibly even imagine.” “Of course, I’m not advocating that we actually try a social space that includes nonhumans in a noncoercive and nonutilitarian mode.” Or its inverse, ridiculing “civilization”: insisting that humans should “return” to a preagrilogistic exis-tence (John Zerzan, archivist of the Unabomber Ted Kaczinski). “Eliminate the evil loops of the human stain. Anyone with prosthetic devices such as glasses is suspect.” Once one has deconstructed civilization into agrilogistic retreat it is tempting to think this way. But imagine the Year Zero violence of actually trying to get rid of intellectuality, reflection, desire, whatever we think is a source of evil, so we can feel right and properly ecological. The assertion that this is a problem to do with “domestication”—which is how Zerzan and others frame it—avoids the genuine agrilogistic problem. “Domestication” is a term from some kind of fall narrative: once upon a time, we let things be wild, but then we took some into our homes and unleashed evil. Neanderthals lived in homes. Primates make beds of leaves. Dogs were fused with humans hundreds of thousands of years ago. “Domestication” is a canard that is itself agrilogistic, straight out of a theistic fall narrative.
Posted by Timothy Morton at 7:06 AM